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I’m excited to share with you my favorite crochet pattern, from one of my favorite people:  The Aunt Ida Hat!

Crocheted hats in the Aunt Ida Hat pattern in blues and tans

Do you have a hero that inspires you?  My heroes were my Mother and my Aunts.

Each of the sisters – Anne, Ida, and Lily – loved family and loved God, often having Bible studies and prayer times with each other and their children and grandchildren.  They believed in JOYFUL and PURPOSEFUL living!  And loved to express themselves in art through painting, jewelry making, and needlework which they learned from their mother – my grandmother!  My mother’s twin sister (my Aunt Ida), lived the longest – and made it to 98!  She was passionate about crocheting.

During her last ten years, she made over 3000 hats (we call them the Aunt Ida hat).

No matter our age, health or circumstance:  God can use us to help others.Aunt Ida

Aunt Ida donated them to everyone whenever she heard a need:  women’s prisons, homeless shelters, Operation Christmas Child, and church thrift shops.

Each one was treasured because of the love and care they represented.  Tucked into every hat was a special hand-typed scripture that spoke about God’s love.  She felt it added that extra “hug” to the gift.


“I know that is the reason that at my age, I am as contented as I am, and I look forward each day to the things waiting for me to do.”


This Aunt Ida hat is an easy crochet pattern she designed.  You will find you can make more than one in an evening!

Instructions for the Aunt Ida Hat:


I like to use an I or a J Hook.  However, you can use a smaller hook and thinner yarn to make one for a smaller size.  Everyone crochets differently – some tight and some loose. When I use an “I” hook it fits my adult head size.  The thickness of the yarn you choose will also affect the size.  The best advice I can give to you is, to do a test hat and check the results and HAVE FUN.

You can get a crochet hook set of 5 different sizes that you can experiment with HERE at Amazon.

My Aunt would use only one color for a complete hat.  I like to use up scrap yarn and change color in almost every row.  In the top photo, the hats were made from those color-changing yarn cakes.  Many craft stores sell yarn at discounts, even Dollar Tree now has a selection that you can check out!

Do you need YARN for all of your crocheting?  See: How to Get FREE (or really cheap) YARN
  • Round 1 Chain 4, slip stitch in the first chain to form a ring. Chain 3 (this counts as double crochet) then 11 dc (double crochet) in the ring, join with sl st (slip stitch) in top of chain 3 (12 stitches).
  • Round 2 (Chain 3, 2 dc) in first stitch, dc front post (fp) around the next stitch, (3 dc in next st, fp around next st) around, join. (24 stitches).  The “front post” stitch makes those lovely little ridges you can see in the picture below.  I like them because it helps me to keep an accurate count as I keep crocheting around the circle.
  • Round 3 (Chain 3, dc) in first st, fp around next st, (2 dc in next st, fp around next st) around, join (36 sts)
  • Round 4: (Chain 3, dc) in first st, dc in next st, fp around next st, (2 dc in next st, dc in next st, fp around next st) around, join. (48 sts)
  • Round 5-12 Chain 3, dc in next 2 stitches, fp around next st, (dc in next 3 sts, fp around next st) around, join.  (Keep repeating and slowly the circle turns in on itself and takes a hat shape.)My Aunt Ida Hat pattern for an easy crocheted hat

(Now I don’t necessarily do 12 rows.  Some people crochet very tightly and sometimes very loosely.   So make a test sample before mass-producing hats!  Most of all, crocheting is very forgiving, if you make a mistake, it still might make a very nice hat!  I always try it on my own head and make sure that it comes around my ears to make sure it is long enough – you don’t want to make a tiny cap.  If you continue with more and more rows, you could roll up the bottom to create a different look!)

  • The last Row is Single crochet all around.  Fasten Off.  (A fun alternative is to half-double crochet all around.  You could even do a scallop if you want to be adventurous.)
  • UPDATE – recently I’ve been doing several single crochet rows around the rim to give it a different look.  Check out the latest picture of my daughter’s creations at the bottom of this post.  REMEMBER – Be creative – have fun!  This now becomes YOUR creation!

Here’s a really nice set of Ergonomic Crochet Hooks at Amazon!

Here are some other free crochet tutorials I’ve posted.

My Aunt Ida Hat pattern
Here are Great Resources and Supplies Available – click on individual images to find:

These are my favorite books – They have great patterns and instructions:


Once you’ve finished your hat – you can add a pom-pom like the photo right at the top of this post, or even a  crocheted flower.  Check out my blog post about crocheting a simple flower that you can add to a hat, headband, hair tie, etc.

Or even get some crocheted flowers from Amazon!

Or these smaller ones (1″).

How about adding an “I made this with LOVE just for YOU” card?  I have free printable tags that you can print HERE.

I have free printable tags that you can add to your handmade items

Do you need YARN for all of your crocheting?

Definitely check out my post on How to Get FREE (or really cheap) YARN

Check out all my craft tutorials at JOY with Purpose!

Still Looking for YARN – Check out all the YARN options HERE at Amazon

This post may contain affiliate links. I may earn a small amount from the company mentioned in this post. For more info check my full disclosure statement.





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35 Comments on The Aunt Ida Hat: Free Pattern

  1. Your aunt Ida sounds a lot like my nanna! My nanna made thousands of hats as she got older, most just got donated to different family members. I love that she added a little note on the inside, what a lovely lady! Plus the hat is super cute! Thanks for sharing! I feel very reassured knowing that the hat will still look good if you make mistakes, I’m quite a beginner at crochet.

      • I cannot follow a pattern. I’ve tried for at least 40 years. I’ll take this pattern to my granddaughter and ask her to show me how to make it. Thank you for sharing.

        • I also have some difficulties with following patterns. I’ll have to admit that for about 2 years after starting this hat, I was actually making it incorrectly. BUT they still were cute and worked great. I think it is a very forgiving pattern, lol!

  2. What a lovely post! And what a perfect way to practice our craft–helping those in need. Thank you so much for sharing the pattern. I will make sure everyone knows they are Aunt Ida’s hats.

  3. We will be including Aunt Ida hats in all of OCC shoeboxes this year — and most of the 100 packed with the kids at church. I love that even tho Aunt Ida’s hand are no longer crocheting here on earth, her hats continue to be made. Such an inspiration.

    • God bless you Cheryl! That is so exciting and encouraging. I can’t even fathom the amount of people she will have influenced. While she was growing older and could no longer drive, she was discouraged that her ministry was over. God told her that she could still do so much from inside her home. And look what has developed. Amazing.

  4. What a beautiful testimony! She ( Aunt Ida ) may be gone but her ministry carries on, thru you, when you share her life, her craft, and her love of God. Thank you for sharing with me. I will do my best to honor your aunt and her message with every hat that I make and pass on. Have a Blessed day!

  5. Could you share what type or size yarn you usually use to make these hats. I am wanting to include some hats in my OCC shoe boxes this year. Thanks for a easy and beautiful hat pattern. Aunt Ida will live on with the hats we share.

    • Hi Susanna! I had to reread my post – I thought I had mentioned the yarn – but I didn’t!!! I have now updated the post! I almost always use Red Heart or the equivalent. Michaels and ACMoore now have a cheaper version of Red Heart. The ACMoore brand is even softer and yummier. I have also used a variety of different yarns that were donated to me – I never like them as much, so I try to just add a few rows or save it for pom poms or crocheted flower accents.

      Thank you so much for your kind words. I was able to share with Aunt Ida before she passed, how many people were now crocheting her hat – but there are so many many more now. She would feel so blessed to be a small part of God’s love shown to others.

      • Thanks for updating your post with the yarn you use. I have never seen an A.C. Moore, so I will try I Love This Yarn from Hobby Lobby. I must crochet tighter than your Aunt Ida as I need to add rows and an extra increase row to get the hat to fit me. Fortunately, that is easy to figure out. Thank you again.

        • We JUST got a Hobby Lobby near us so I am only beginning to get familiar with their yarn. It’s true about crochet styles. I’ve taught crochet and saw wildly different stitch sizes in our group using the same needle and same yarn! But it is so forgiving and you’re right, you can add on extra stitches or rows. Glad you were able to make it work!

  6. About how many yards are required for 1 hat? I can’t find that in the post. I am purchasing new yarn, and I found balls with 250 yards each.

    • Hi Laurie 🙂 I think I may have answered this on FB. I am not that familiar with yardage. I usually get the 7oz red heart skeins. Since I also tend to use several colors in one hat it’s hard to measure – but I get at least 2-3 or more from one skein (using additional colors). I tend to have bags of scraps that I use for every hat.

  7. Hi Mary, I found a site some years ago regarding this lovely hat. It was the first time I had crocheted and they were so easy and I just loved how they turned out. I made about 50 of them in different colours and gave them to all the family. They were so pleased and happy that they passed on the extra ones to friends. I lost my pattern and my memory is not as good as it was and have been searching for a while now. I believe your Aunt Ida helped me find it again. A sentence in your site popped into my memory and I found your website. I am getting on in years as well and want to help others with this wonderful gift. God bless you and your family for sharing. May you all have a wonderful Christmas. Thank you so very much.

    • Hello Betty! I can understand your confusion! My original article was in my old website that got hacked and is no longer online! I had to make an entirely new website and one of the first posts I wanted to recreate was my Aunt Ida hat pattern! Soooo glad you found me! God bless you and your family as well Betty! Merry Christmas!

  8. What a wonderful story. Thanks for keeping Aunt Ida’s story going. I have my aunt’s crochet hooks and she crocheted with crochet thread not yarn as I use. I found your site because it was on

  9. Thanks for the free pattern. I’m going to print it out for my mom. She loves to crochet. Blessings to you!

    • No sorry. She liked to paint, and make jewelry, but as far as crocheting, she primarily focused on hats alone. Even as she aged and finally after her stroke, it was easier to keep one clear pattern in her mind.

  10. I found this pattern today after it was recommended in the group: Bev’s Country Cottage Neighborhood. Started it immediately tonight and this makes great #hatnothate hats. Thanks you and this is a truly great page.

  11. This pattern is awesome and it works up quickly. I finished 7 this weekend. I am shooting for 20 to give to a local homeless shelter.

    Thanks so much for the pattern

  12. I made one of these hats and I really like it. I would like to make it a hat to fit adults, but not quite sure what to do. I am an amateur. Help!

  13. Hi,
    I too have been crocheting hats for the children’s Christmas shoe boxes for about 5 years now. I am so glad that I came across your article while looking for yarn on sale. Your Aunts hat pattern is very cute. Thank you for giving me a different type of pattern to add to my Spiritual gift
    of Serving and thank you for all of the different ways to find free yarn. Bless you and the family.

    Sincerely, Martha Hatcher(Martie)

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